The Big Think

March 21, 2010

Health Care Endgame

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 7:51 am

I strongly oppose the current health care bill, and I’ve made no secret of that fact to my friends. My opposition is not based upon selfishness, cruelty to my fellow man, or the belief that the current system is just fine. In fact, long time readers will know that I railed against our H.C. company every year when they raised rates. Instead, I believe that the currently proposed legislation is very bad law, and it’s being enacted in a way that is unprecedented, violently partisan, and socially irresponsible. We need reform on health care because the health care system is so broken. And because it represents 20% of our economy, we need to put all ideas on the table and do it right. Slamming through the current legislation with a vote today will not fix our problems. In the long term it will only make them worse.

More importantly, though, my opposition is philosophical with a longer view. It’s best summed up in Randy Barnett’s article, Is health-care reform constitutional?

…the individual mandate extends the commerce clause’s power beyond economic activity, to economic inactivity. That is unprecedented. While Congress has used its taxing power to fund Social Security and Medicare, never before has it used its commerce power to mandate that an individual person engage in an economic transaction with a private company. Regulating the auto industry or paying “cash for clunkers” is one thing; making everyone buy a Chevy is quite another. Even during World War II, the federal government did not mandate that individual citizens purchase war bonds.

If you choose to drive a car, then maybe you can be made to buy insurance against the possibility of inflicting harm on others. But making you buy insurance merely because you are alive is a claim of power from which many Americans instinctively shrink.

Fix health care, but do it constitutionally, without establishing precedents that will inevitably lead to future leaders continuing to erode personal liberties and further empower the federal government.

If you support the current HC reform and have never been able to understand why all those “crazy tea-partiers” are protesting, I can’t make it any clearer than that.

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